Diplomatic notification 2003/2: GEF Council and Assembly

30/05/2003

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Notification 2003/2

Ramsar Convention representation at GEF Council and Assembly meetings

The Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) presents its compliments and has the honour to refer to the following:

The 8th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (Valencia, Spain, 18-26 November 2002) approved Resolution VIII. 5 on "Partnerships and synergies with Multilateral Environmental Agreements and other institutions" which, inter alia,

"21. REQUESTS the Ramsar Bureau to further strengthen its working relations with the GEF Secretariat;

22. INVITES the GEF Council to consider affording to the Ramsar Convention, represented by the Ramsar Bureau, the status of observer at all Council and Assembly meetings of GEF, so that the Convention can be in a better position to provide advice on its areas of expertise to the Council and its member States, particularly in view of the Joint Work Plan between Ramsar and the CBD;"

This issue has been brought to the attention of the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Global Environment Facility in a letter of the Secretary General dated 14 April 2003 (copy attached).

The Ramsar Bureau hopes that the GEF Council will be in a position to consider the invitation of the Ramsar COP, as per paragraph 22 of Resolution VIII.5, at its forthcoming meeting in May 2003.

The Ramsar Bureau would be grateful if the content of this Note could be transmitted to the national authority dealing with GEF matters.

The Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands respectfully requests that the content of the present Note be communicated to the competent national authorities and avails itself of this opportunity to renew the assurance of its highest consideration.

Gland, 14 April 2003

Encl: Copy of letter to Chairman of GEF
Resolution VIII.5


Dr. Mohamed T. El-Ashry
Chief Executive Officer and Chairman
Global Environment Facility (GEF)
1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
USA

14 April 2003

Dear Dr. El-Ashry,

My apologies for not having brought before to your attention Resolution VIII.5 of Ramsar COP8, in which, inter alia, the COP:

"21. REQUESTS the Ramsar Bureau to further strengthen its working relations with the GEF Secretariat;

22. INVITES the GEF Council to consider affording to the Ramsar Convention, represented by the Ramsar Bureau, the status of observer at all Council and Assembly meetings of GEF, so that the Convention can be in a better position to provide advice on its areas of expertise to the Council and its member States, particularly in view of the Joint Work Plan between Ramsar and the CBD;"

In my report to the COP, I had advised the Parties about the previous resolution of the GEF Council, to the effect that the Convention would be invited to attend meetings when there were projects of interest to Ramsar for consideration. I had also advised that, so far, the Convention has never been invited to be present.

The two paragraphs quoted above were inserted in the Resolution at the request of some Contracting Parties and I have been asked now to ensure that the GEF Secretariat and the GEF Council members are aware of the COP invitation to the Council in view of its forthcoming meeting in May.

I very much hope that it will not be too late for your Council to consider dealing with this matter at its meeting in May.

With best wishes,

Delmar Blasco
Secretary General

Encl. Copy of Resolution VIII.5 of Ramsar COP8.

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